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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin March 2011
22 MARCH 2011 DEnTAL bOARD Of AUSTRALIA InfECTIOn COnTROL CODES AnD GUIDELInES Sir, In the infection control section of the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) Codes and Guidelines there is a requirement that all dental workplaces have certain infection control documents – either in hard copy or accessible on-line, and that these documents be available to all working dentists and other staff. The intention of this requirement is clearly to ensure that the established and well- accepted principles of infection control are consistently maintained, in order to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases from patient to patient, patient to dentist or staff, and from dentists or staff to patients. The documents are as follows: • A manual setting out the protocols and procedures used in that practice and reflecting good infection control principles. This manual is vital in the training of existing and future staff. Because the bulk of infection control is carried out by dental assistants, it provides a legal statement of the minimum standards the dentist expects. There will be a need to regularly check that the practices actually carried out by all dentists and other staff consistently comply with the stated protocols. Your manual will obviously reflect the type of practice – general or specialist – and such other things as number of dentists and staff and the setup of the practice, both physically and organisationally. It needs to be kept up-to-date. • The Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4815 (current edition), or for those in institutional dentistry, AS/NZS 4817, outlining office based health care. This document is an excellent and most helpful one, is easy to read and mostly applies directly to dentistry. • Infection Control Guidelines for the prevention of transmission of infectious diseases in the health care setting published by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (http:// www.health.gov.au). When the NHMRC first brought out the forerunner of this document in the mid-nineties, it was very useful but it is no longer and its inclusion by the DBA is a mistake. • The current ADA Guidelines for Infection Control (www.ada.org.au). This is another most helpful and practical document, and obviously it is designed for dentists. Complying with the letter of the law in this regulation unfortunately panders to a ‘file and forget’ approach. It isn’t what is in your filing cabinet that matters but what you do! While the regulation clearly states the above documents must be available in-house (hard copy or on-line), if you do not have Internet access at work, but your employees do so at home, then it seems to me that providing the dentists and other staff with a list of the websites is within the spirit of the law. One clearly needs to state that the protocols in your manual should not be changed, whether as a result of study of these documents or not, without consultation with the practice principal, as he or she has the ultimate responsibility, both legally and morally, for everything carried out in the practice. Michael Payne West Pymble 2073 Letters to the Letters are published at the Editor’s discretion and customary editorial rights are reserved. We request that letters be brief, of interest to the general membership and signed. Letters published are an expression of a personal point of view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the policies or opinions of the Australian Dental Association Inc. feedback editor no false advice Please contact Garry Pammer, Alison Lacey or Heath Stewart on: Telephone (02) 9264 1111 Fax (02) 9264 1344 email firstname.lastname@example.org website clarkjacobs.com.au Dental specialists for over 20 years
ADA News Bulletin February 2011
ADA News Bulletin April 2011